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Paul Taliefero
Paul Taliefero, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
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Experience:  19 years of experience in income taxes
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Can my wife on J-2 visa file as a resident for tax perposes

Customer Question

Hi. My wife is on J-2 visa. Can she file as a resident for tax perposes. If we file as a non-resident alien (1040NR-EZ) we pay twice as much as a resident. Thanks.
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Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  T. R. Miller, The SunTaxMan replied 12 years ago.
What is/are your wife's source(s) of income - what job(s) does she have.

What is her occupation?
Customer: replied 12 years ago.
I am J-1 student, she is so-called my dependent on J-2 status and has a job permit. Her only source of income is her job.
Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Regular job, she works in the mall
Customer: replied 12 years ago.
On IRS website I found that she is considered my "immeadiate family", that means that she is an exempt individual as well and will not initially meet substantial presence test to be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes.
Expert:  Paul Taliefero replied 12 years ago.
Since you both have J class visas, you are not considered residents. Your wife should apply for a green card (or you, if you have a job, in addition to school). In fact, it would be better if you both had green cards.

If you do this, then you will be able to exempt your days spent in the country on the J visa. This will make it easier to meet the substantial presence test.

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